I suppose it really all began while I was in high school. I was reading a book by Thich Nhat Hahn called The Heart of Understanding. At the end of a passage I placed the book on my chest and looked over the landscape of my parents serene and open backyard. I could not articulate it, but I knew that something had noticeably shifted. My perceptions had changed, and the world looked different to me. Though I do not remember the passage, I am certain that was my first appreciation for the deep interconnectedness of all things.
Yoga found me as a college student at the tender age of 19. My then boyfriend (now husband) had brought several books home from the library book sale. The books were from yoga’s first swell of popularity in the 1970′s (where everyone was wearing black unitards) and they smelled like they had been hiding in a musty basement. I attempted to be a good student, but the whole approach was lost on me. My type A tendencies were so strong, and it took several tries to get me out of my impatience and into my body. When I attended my first yoga class with a real live teacher, once I learned the union of breath and movement, a similar shift as had happened on my parents back porch. I was changed forever.
I quickly began to attend as many yoga classes as I possibly could, and felt the unmistakable pull of a life path calling me. It came at a time when I was engaging in some serious reflection and reevaluation. My yoga teacher at the time encouraged me to consider teaching yoga as well, and I knew (once that small voice of doubt had been hushed) that it was to be. Everything about becoming a yoga teacher spoke to my deepest knowing. Once I began the journey inside myself I found that I had no doubt I had been given the gift to share yoga with others. I began teaching in 2001, and completed my 200 hour certification at Kriplau Center.
I have been blessed to have had, literally, thousands of students over the years. They teach me just as much, some days more, than I teach them. Not a single day passes that I do not feel the sweet wonder of how I came to be so blessed to have been chosen to be a part of the lineage of yoga in this this beautiful world.
It was in 2002 that by going on a yoga retreat to Costa Rica that I found the healing modality called The BodyTalk System. After a single session I felt a healing take place in my being that I had never experienced so quickly, so powerfully. Even in total stillness I felt the pulse of life force (being channeled by the skilled practitioner) flow through my body. It was a like being gifted an expansion of consciousness without any effort on my part, and made an immediate impression on me. It only further affirmed the body/mind’s phenomenal capacity to heal and experience aliveness. After a few years, I realized that BodyTalk was a modality that I wanted to learn more about, to share as a compliment to the work of teaching yoga. The opportunity to work one on one with BodyTalk, and the group nature of classes is the perfect balance in my career.
Many years have passed now, and I love and believe in what I do more than ever. I truly see that my work brings to me some of the most amazing people in the community of Bloomington/Normal and beyond. I see that my work has meaning and purpose, and helps others to find those very things for themselves, within themselves.
In the Summer of 2013 it became evident to me that I was on two of what are called the “four paths of yoga”: Karma Yoga, the path of service, and Bhakti Yoga, the path of devotion. I was able to bring together a group of colleagues to teach free outdoor yoga classes, and I found myself at yet another crossroads in my life. Out of all the years of teaching, I had never felt more passionate that yoga should be made available to ALL regardless of ability, finances, or age. It was this that inspired me to found The OM Tribe, which is a not for profit organization committed to welcoming all to the many paths of yoga and growing a cOMmUNITY.
I bow deeply to all who allow me to follow my bliss in this life, professionally and personally. A teacher is nothing without people to teach, a healer, nothing without people to help heal, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for allowing me to have the best job on Earth.